Klein asked Judge Percy Anderson to impose a 10-year sentence. Klein also asked for a five-year sentence for Namvar's right-hand man, Hamid Tabatabai.
Namvar's attorney, meanwhile, pleaded for lenience. Attorney Marc Harris
urged the judge to impose a sentence of zero to six months, arguing
that a lengthy sentence would make it impossible for Namvar to repay his
Namvar immigrated from Iran in the 1970s. Following in his father's footsteps, he became a "hard money" lender. He lent funds for real estate investments at high interest rates, which allowed him to pay his depositors higher rates than banks would offer.
In the early 2000s, according to a bankruptcy trustee's report, he went on a real estate buying spree -- putting his depositors' money into reckless and highly speculative investments. When the market turned, much of his portfolio was lost to foreclosure.
Namvar was convicted at trial for taking $21 million from his financial exchange to pay back other depositors.
Harris argued that Namvar intended to pay those depositors back, but was prevented from doing so because he was forced into bankruptcy.
Namvar made the same argument in a July interview with the L.A. Weekly.
"We got into trouble like everybody else -- Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, everybody," he said. "We would have paid everybody off if it wasn't for the bankruptcy."
He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 11.